Parish Church Of St Marwenne

5 Aug 2003
Parish Church Of St Marwenne, Marhamchurch, North Cornwall, Cornwall, EX23 0EP
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


7/58 Parish Church of St Marwenne 29.9.61


Parish church. Lower stage of tower C14, chancel and transept C14, upper stages of tower C15, north aisle and porch C15, late C19 vestry, early C20 restoration.

South side and chancel stone rubble with granite and greenstone dressings, north aisle freestone ashlar with granite dressings, tower and porch masonry dressed stone brought to course, greenstone and granite dressings, slate roofs. Complex development, chancel and tower not aligned, adjustment for this at junction between south transept and chancel. Possible that the C14 cruciform plan had transeptal arches set back from crossing, the addition of the north aisle with 1 bay to the chancel may have involved widening the chancel to the north, hence non-alignment with west tower. Vestry and boiler room added at west end of north aisle, vestry gabled to the north. Chancel has coped gable, greenstone quoins and 3-light greenstone Perpendicular east window with hoodmould and label stops.

South wall of chancel has priests door under triangular arch and 2-light window replaced 1980s. South wall of nave has probably C14 masonry and inserted square- headed C16 3-light granite mullioned window, south transept has renewed Perpendicular 3-light window with hoodmould and label stops. East wall of transept looks rebuilt; 2-light timber mullioned window in east wall of transept lights pulpit. 4 bay north aisle: east end has 3 light C19 Perpendicular greenstone window with hoodmould and label stops. 2 late C19 buttresses with offsets to north aisle, 1 earlier buttress. 3 stage battlemented west tower with tall angle buttresses with offsets, tall parapet and crocketted pinnacles.

Moulded strings above first and third stages only. Polygonal north-east stair turret has slit openings. Arched, moulded, greenstone west doorway with hoodmould and label stops. 2-light west window with hoodmould and label stops looks C19. Louvred slit opening on south at bell-ringers' stage. Belfry opening, west side, two C15 trefoil headed lights with slate louvres below pierced quatrefoil under hoodmould. North and south side belfry openings each have 2 round-headed lights with slate louvres below blind quatrefoil. Statue niche to second stage on east wall of tower. C19 vestry has set back buttresses and 3-light C19 Perpendicular window in north gable end, middle light transomed.

Boiler room under lean-to roof at west end of north aisle. Blocked C13 lancet window in west wall of north aisle. Gabled south porch has granite quoins and coping. Shallow-moulded arched outer door, granite topped benches in porch.

Porch roof has moulded arched brace and collar roof, foliage carved on wall plates. Bosses missing, some renewal of ribs. Holy water stoup. Shallow moulded granite inner door, and important C16 studded door of overlapping vertical moulded planks, with heavy strap hinges terminating in elaborate finials. Door hung on gudgeon hooks. Loop drop latch preserved behind glass panel, massive wooden lock case.

Interior: Shallow moulded C15 granite north arcade with monolith piers carved with 4 hollows and 4-shafts, hollows projecting above the collars on the shafts.

North aisle roof C15 unceiled waggon with ribs and bosses, vine-carved wall plate and angels carved at wall plate level. Nave and chancel roofs late C19 waggons ceiled with boarding, some bosses original. Stepped up chancel. Chancel arch marked by adjustment to roofs. Walls of nave and aisle plastered, masonry around window unplastered. Unmoulded tower arch. Chamfered arch into transept. Floor of nave and aisle early C20 slates laid on edge chequerboard pattern. Chancel floor black and white marble, probably C18, altar step C20 marble. Trefoil- headed C14 piscina in south wall of chancel. C17 pulpit is a 5-sided drum: upper carving of strapwork and cartouches, then below a cornice, demi-figures of saints under round-headed arches, symbols or the evangelists below. The pulpit has a contemporary tester. Granite cresset stone with 4 holes positioned by the bower arch. One C17 bench with carved ends in chancel. Late C19/early C20 choir stalls and communion rail. C19 brass fittings include full size candleholders.

Late C19/early C20 font, probably recutting of Perpendicular font. Large plaster royal arms of Charles II carved in situ, (q.v. Kilkhampton, Launcells and Boconnoc churches) on south wall retains early colouring. Good slate memorial to George Rolle, buried 1645, fixed to north wall of north aisle chapel with coat of arms carved in relief and scroll border. Slate memorial on south wall of north aisle chapel has carved border and retains some ancient colour. Inscription illegible. Several good C17 slate memorials used as paving in nave. Brass to Maria Maskell, d.1845, set in north aisle chapel floor: ornamental cross and text possibly in medieval matrix. East window and 2 north aisle windows by Kempe, westernmost window of north aisle by Beer of Exeter. Set into the west wall of the north aisle in a blocked cinquefoil-headed single light stone window with 2 slits below a transom. Charles Henderson states that this was found in the rectory garden and thought that the window originated from the cell of Cecilia Moyes, who was granted a licence to be an anchorite in 1403. Her cell may have been on the north side of the church, the window allowing her to see Mass and receive the sacrament. Belfry not inspected.

Charles Henderson, MS Notes for a parochial history of Cornwall, held in the Royal Institution of Cornwall Library. Rosemary Pardoe, Royal Arms in the Churches of Cornwall, (1982)

Listing NGR: SS2231603690


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1580 IOE Records taken by Hilary Phillips; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Hilary Phillips. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Phillips, Hilary

Rights Holder: Phillips, Hilary


Ashlar, Freestone, Granite, Greenstone, Rubble, Slate, Stone, Medieval Parish Church, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Wall Monument, Commemorative, Commemorative Monument